A new street closing policy is designed to give city staff more notice when groups request closure of a street.

Suzanne Loomis, city director of public works, said there are two types of street closings — those for neighborhood block parties and those for large community events.

“The requests are becoming more in number, and it is necessary for us to be able to schedule the closings around maintenance projects and other events,” she said.

The city commission approved the policy this month, which requires a one-month notice for closure of a major thoroughfare and one week notice for a neighborhood block party.

A form is required for those requesting a street closing. The form is available on the city’s Web site at www.newtonkansas.com or also can be picked up at the city clerk’s office in City Hall. City clerk Denise Duerksen said the city also likely will have forms available in the water billing office, also in City Hall.

Those requesting a street closure are required to get signatures from the households or businesses within the requested closure area, and at least 60 percent must approve of the closing.

The fee for a street closing now will be $20, as opposed to the previous $10 fee.

“The resources being requested for community events are growing, and the city needs to be able to schedule staff to bring in barricades, set-up detour routes, bring in tables, trash cans, etc.,” Loomis said. “All of this takes time and dollars, and the policy on street closing hasn’t changed other than we are asking for a little more notice and slightly increased the fee, which hasn’t went up for over 20 years.”